25 September 2023

TONGA: World Bank urges digital upgrade

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The World Bank is financing improved digital access to key public services in Tonga, including significant upgrades to the Pacific Island nation’s civil registration and national ID systems.

The Bank has allocated A$6.7 million for the Tonga Digital Government Support Project.

Included in the upgrade is an online portal that will improve access to services and information across all Government Ministries and Agencies, as well as improvements to Tonga’s regulations for digital economy and digital government, data protection and privacy, and cybersecurity.

For Tongan families, this will mean that births can be registered more quickly, and all Tongans will have better access to education, health care, employment, elections, migration, property ownership and banking.

Minister for Finance, Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said delivering effective online public services to the people was essential to the development of Tonga.

“We are delighted to be working with the World Bank to improve our digital technology across all Government Agencies, advancing digital access and efficiency for Tongan communities,” Dr Tu’i’onetoa said.

Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands at the World Bank, Michel Kerf said the Bank’s work in the region had shown that integrated, shared and inclusive information flows within and across Government Agencies could improve the quality of life for citizens, and reduce complexity for businesses trying to grow.

The funding comes from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries; the project will be implemented by Tonga’s Ministry of Finance.

The project is also supported by Australia and South Korea.

Nuku’alofa, 11 May 2019

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